Women’s Basketball Falls to Maryland in NCAA Second Round

Blake Dietrick ’15 scored 26 points, but the Tigers couldn’t keep pace with the host Terrapins. (Beverly Schaefer)

Blake Dietrick ’15 scored 26 points, but the Tigers couldn’t keep pace with the host Terrapins. (Beverly Schaefer)

Princeton women’s basketball faced an unenviable challenge in its second-round NCAA Tournament game: a matchup against No. 4 Maryland on its home floor, where the Terrapins have not lost in nearly 14 months.

For the first 20 minutes, the Tigers were up to the task, keeping pace with a stellar offensive performance, particularly in the paint. Maryland led by just four at halftime, 42-38.

But after the break, Princeton’s fortunes turned. In one stretch, the Tigers missed six shots in a row while the Terrapins made all five of their attempts — plus two free-throws — and jumped ahead by 17.

Point guard Blake Dietrick ’15 did her best to will the Tigers back into contention, scoring 17 of her team-high 26 points after her team fell behind by double digits. But Maryland’s hot shooting never cooled. Princeton lost for the first time this season, 85-70. Continue reading

Princeton Women’s Lacrosse Improves to 6-1 as Sailer Wins No. 350

Olivia Hompe ’17 leads Princeton with 19 goals, including five in Saturday’s win over Harvard. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Olivia Hompe ’17 leads Princeton with 19 goals, including five in Saturday’s win over Harvard. (Office of Athletic Communications)

As it nears the midway point in the regular season, Princeton women’s lacrosse continues to look impressive. The Tigers are off to a 6-1 start (2-0 Ivy League) with their lone loss coming at No. 8 Virginia. On Saturday, the team delivered head coach Chris Sailer’s 350th career win with a 17-12 victory over Harvard, Sailer’s alma mater. Sailer, now in her 29th season at Princeton, has coached three national champions and 11 Final Four teams. In the weeks to come, Princeton enters the bulk of its Ivy season and prepares for another NCAA postseason run.

With the exception of No. 1 Maryland April 8, the Tigers have already faced their toughest non-Ivy competition. Wins against No. 9 Loyola and No. 11 Penn State have put Princeton in a strong position going into the rest of the season. Last year, the Tigers didn’t receive the Ivy’s automatic bid to play in the NCAA tournament, but earned an at-large bid due to strength of schedule and victories over ranked opponents.

“Getting that NCAA automatic bid is always a goal, but then again, we want to be a team that’s also able to qualify for the NCAAs as an at-large selection as well,” Sailer said. “To do that, you have to schedule a competitive slate of nonconference games and win more than your fair share.” Continue reading

Princeton Women’s Basketball Wins NCAA Tournament Opener

Annie Tarakchian ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Annie Tarakchian ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Against Wisconsin-Green Bay March 21, the undefeated Princeton women’s basketball team found itself in an unusual position, trailing at halftime for the first time since early November.

But after intermission, the Tigers reasserted themselves inside, led by 14 second-half points by Annie Tarakchian ’16 and 13 from Alex Wheatley ’16, and earned an 80-70 win, the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history.

Princeton’s defense improved in the second half, pushing Green Bay out to the perimeter, where the Phoenix settled for 3-point attempts. Midway through the second half, Princeton opened up a 10-point lead and held the Green Bay at arm’s length for the next eight minutes. The Phoenix cut the lead to four with 2:14 remaining. Wheatley then upped the lead to six with a layup, and the Tigers forced two Green Bay turnovers in the final two minutes. Continue reading

Two Princetonians and a Motorcycle, Along the White Nile

John Hopkins ’60

John Hopkins ’60

It is 1961, and John Hopkins ’60 and Joe McPhillips ’58 have just returned from Peru. After responding to the letter of a fellow Ivy Club alumnus who has invited those traveling to Kenya to stay with him, Hopkins and McPhillips decide to board a ship to Naples and from there travel through Europe to Africa. In Munich, they buy a white BMW motorcycle they christen “The White Nile” for the African river they will follow during their journey. Hopkins’ The White Nile Diaries retraces the two friends’ long ago adventures and offers a glimpse into a time when Africa was a tantalizing adventure for some young men.

The book intersperses accounts of the pair’s sojourns in each country with letters from their host in Kenya. Along the way, Hopkins and McPhillips are set upon by a group of armed men seeking revenge for violence in Tunisia and are shot at by Libyan soldiers as they try to slip unnoticed across the border with their undocumented motorcycle. They experience the 120-degree dry heat of the Sahara, the inside of a jail cell in Libya, and the wonders of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Like a North American Che Guevara and Alberto Granado, Hopkins and McPhillips travel 6,000 miles and arrive at Impala Farm, which turns out to be very different from what they expected. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Thesis Time

04261940For Princeton seniors beginning the final sprint to their thesis deadlines, this desktop scene from 1940 may look somewhat familiar (with a different keyboard, of course, and some changes to the peripheral refuse).

As student columnist Jill Smolowe ’77 once wrote in PAW, the thesis “starts as a distant and incomprehensible word your freshman year, creeping up silently through the middle-class years, only to pounce with a fierce vengeance in the autumn of your senior year.” By the time the second semester arrives, it can seem all-consuming: “Your well-being and your thesis become synonymous.”

Of course, it’s not all work and no play — or at least it wasn’t for another student columnist, Richard Kluger ’56, who explained the secret to a strong senior year: “[G]ive the impression of feverish, utterly devoted academic activity probing into realms never before trammeled by white bucks while, at the same time, maintaining a well-rounded schedule for goodfellowship and gaiety.” Continue reading

Tiger of the Week: Nick Guthe ’91, Director of ‘The Billion Dollar Game’

Nick Guthe ’91, left, with Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt ’81, one of several Princeton basketball alumni featured in The Billion Dollar Game. (Courtesy Nick Guthe)

Nick Guthe ’91, left, with Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt ’81, one of several Princeton basketball alumni featured in The Billion Dollar Game. (Courtesy Nick Guthe)

With the cameras rolling at Jadwin Gym last May, Nick Guthe ’91 set to work solving a Princeton basketball mystery: In 1989, when the Tiger men were preparing for their showdown with top-seeded Georgetown, who came up with the plan to go the barbershop for Hoosiers-style buzzcuts?

“Whose idea was it?” Guthe asked, sounding faintly like Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. “Whose idea was it?”

Under the bright lights, Jerry Doyle ’91, a starting guard for the ’89 team, grudgingly admitted the idea was his. When the crew paused to switch tapes, Doyle, a Duke Law grad, smiled and shook his head. “You should be a prosecutor,” he said.

Filmmaker suits Guthe just fine. A writer and director with a background in TV and movies, Guthe returned to Princeton to work on his first documentary, a short film titled The Billion Dollar Game, which premiered on ESPN’s Grantland.com today.

The film, which features Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril and several Princeton basketball alumni, explores Princeton’s thrilling NCAA Tournament loss to Georgetown and its effect on the sport’s future. The Tigers’ near miss helped to preserve automatic tournament bids for small-conference teams. It also proved compelling to executives at CBS, the network that subsequently paid $1 billion for the tournament’s exclusive broadcasting rights and expanded coverage to include all first-round games. “It really changed the way that people consume college basketball,” Guthe said. Continue reading